Trump Administration Begins to Dismantle Obama Campus Rape Tribunals
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education (DOE) pushed the "rape culture" narrative — that one quarter of women would be raped or sexually assaulted on college campuses, and that colleges could not trust the police to handle these crimes. This created a perverse system of campus tribunals which denied due process rights to (mostly) men accused of sexual assault.
On Friday, The New York Times reported on an internal memo published by Propublica showing the Trump administration's first steps in overhauling this "sex bureaucracy." The Times interpreted the move as "scaling back investigations into civil rights violations at the nation's public schools and universities."
The memo, written by Candice Jackson, the acting head of the DOE's Office of Civil Rights (OCR), reversed one part of the Obama administration's campus sexual assault policies, but it is an important first step in reforming the system. Under Obama, OCR investigated colleges when women accusers claimed the colleges were too lax on the men they accused of sexual assault.
"Whenever they had an allegation by some student that her Title IX rights had been violated by a college, they would not only look into the particulars of her complaint and fault the college for not giving her what she wanted, but they would launch a systematic investigation going back for years," Stuart Taylor, co-author of the book The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America's Universities, told PJ Media.
"They would even pressure the colleges to retry accused males who had been found innocent before, exposing these guys to double jeopardy," Taylor added.
In other words, when a woman complained to OCR that her college was not penalizing the man she accused of rape or sexual assault, OCR wouldn't just investigate her case (assuming that the accused man was guilty). The office would also delve into the college's past, attempting to find previous cases where the school was too easy on accused students.
This practice demonstrated the "rape culture" narrative's insistence on over-exaggerating the likelihood of sexual assault on campus, and pushing the idea that every woman who accuses a man of sexual assault should receive the benefit of the doubt. In fact, almost nine out of ten colleges reported zero sexual assaults in 2015.
This policy was "based on a false assumption that [sexual assault] is widespread in the colleges," Taylor explained. "I frankly doubt that there's more than a handful of colleges across the United States that have systematically discriminated against accusers." His book is full of examples of colleges discriminating against the accused.